Career Dev Prompt #8: What does it really take?

prompt8haveaconversation

As a professional – you should have Career Goals. If you don’t want are you doing reading this blog? Today we are thinking long-term and this week’s prompt is aimed at helping you clarify these long-term goals and potential options for getting there.

I am thinking DREAM GOAL, DREAM ROLE. TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN aspirations. If you haven’t already got this in a prominent place – write it down. Now! Great. Now I want you to think about WHY you want to do this and what you current plan is for getting there. DO you have one? Have you though beyond your next paycheck, pay rise, promotion? Have you thought BIGGER? No? Well Let’s get started. Have a conversation and learn what it really takes to get your Dream Job.

PROMPT: This week I want you to have a conversation (or coffee date) with someone you know that is currently doing the job or is on their way to doing the job. Even learn more about how your boss got where they are today.

Subscribers of our Career Development Prompts Premium Plan (which is only £30 for a 2014 subscription) will be able to download our 8-page ‘have a conversation’ action plan and learn what to ask during the conversation to ensure you get the information you need.

N is for… Networking

What is Networking?

Basically networking is meeting new people.

Networking is the interaction with others for the purpose of exchanging information, and developing professional or social contacts.

Nothing so scary about that!

Why is Networking important?

Most professionals will be required to do some business development and attract and retain clients or customers. Your employer (or prospective employer) wants to know that you are making the business money. Networking is one of the ways that this can be done.

Attending (and excelling at) networking events can be a great way to meet people and connect. However, you also need to be someone that follows through on the connections made and meets the right people with whom you will have a beneficial relationship – for example: who will give work or make referrals. This ability to do this is the skill.

How can you excel at making connections by networking?

Some people just have that natural personality that means they are like a fish to water at networking events – they are fun and likeable so people naturally follow up with them because they enjoyed their company and want to get to know them better.

However, for the rest of us who don’t naturally have that flow (myself included) we should not despair – there are plenty of opportunities for us to be helpful, likeable and master the skill of networking.

We must start by scrapping the old-school mentality of networking, sales pitches and business cards. More and more networking events are embracing technology and  promoting a ‘generosity’  approach.

Excelling at networking in part comes down to preparation such as knowing who is attending the event and understanding what you can give or offer them, how to can provide value and how you can make a genuine connection.

Skill Development Plan

Your Skill Development Plan should be simple – prepare well and network as much as you can.

Regular readers will know that I have a Filofax dedicated to Networking. There is also a Networking Notebook that forms part of the Printed Portal Organisational Notebooks Range which will help you prepare for networking events.  Additionally, don’t forget to check out our Career Development Prompt series for more networking goodies.